Thursday
Feb262009

Group B Rally Tribute

When I was in High School in the mid 80's I remember ESPN showing the World Rally Championship and was always amaized at the car control these drivers had.  To this day I firmly believe the most talent car drivers in the world are Rally drivers.  The rally cars, more than any other four wheel form of racing comes the closest to motorcycle roadracing for me in the control and the ballet that is required to excel.  

0-60 in under 3 seconds on the dirt, 5-800+ horsepower while weighing under 2500lbs, even today these cars inspire awe.  I still find the Lancia 037 to be one of the most beautiful and purposeful cars of that era, even if it wasn't the quickest, or most reliable.  If you are a fan of this era, YouTube is a treasure trove of great video.

Tuesday
Feb242009

Team USF1 Presented By Vaporware

Today on SPEED, there was a televised press conference hosted by Bob Varsha that had Peter Windsor and Ken Anderson announcing they they had “officially” formed a Formula one team know for now as USF1.

The team will be based and operate out of Charlotte, North Carolina, though they will have some sort of shop in Spain as well it’s being reported.  The presentation was a bit slick with the first six or seven minutes were pre-taped highlights promoting American involvement in Formula 1 since the late 50’s.  There were then some Q&A where Ken and Peter managed to never answer any of the questions asked.  There was a call in from Mario Andretti and a pre-tape package from Dan Gurney sprinkled in.

When asked why Charlotte as a base of operations, Anderson insisted that their was more resources and relevant technology for building an F1 car within 50 miles of there, then in the area where most teams are based in the UK.  Also with less than half of the races based on the EU continent their is no real advantage to being based their anymore.

For me this presser raised more questions than it answered, and here are some of the things that I came away with.

  1. The team is sponsored by Vaperware.  Not Compuware, because if it was Peter Karmonos would have insisted on Kwame Kilpatrick being put in charge.  Had this happened USF1 would have had the best hospitality since Kwame would have insisted on an unending supply of hookers, hoe’s and Cristal, but that’s a different rant for a different day, and pretty much an inside bit.
  2. In actuality there were no sponsored announced though it is rumored they have $65mil in funding as of now.  They will have “technical partners” but again no one mentioned.
  3. One of the sponsors/technical partners is likely to be FedEx since they were mentioned in passing as how they could get back to North Carolina faster from parts of Europe than teams based in the UK could due to air shipping.
  4. They have no engine supplier as of now, though they do have RFP’s out.
  5. They have no chassis designed as of now
  6. They have no shop space leased or purchased as of now, though they may be buying a closed down NASCAR shop in the next few weeks.
  7. They have no drivers now, or even a short list.  They ran down just about every young American drivers name, save the Riley Boys, when asked about it.
  8. If you are interested in working for the team, don’t bother, they are only going to hire cronies they have worked with over the years.
  9. SPEED/FOX/News Corp is heavily involved in the team, may handle all their media based on comments and hints in the press conference.

Based off of this presser, I have some questions.  

  1.  How much back door money is coming from Bernie and Max to pull this off?  Peter Windsor is in pretty tight with Bernie, and an old adage goes, if you want to know what Bernie is thinking, just listen to what Peter is saying.  
  2. Mario and Dan Gurney are putting some of their reputations on the line coming out so large in backing this deal, makes me think it has some legitimcy, but you never no.
  3. How the hell are these guys going to be ready for race 1 in 2010 if they haven’t even started yet,

As a bit of a flyer here, and while sounding crazy, I’m also being serious too.  If USF1 scores Toyota as an engine supplier, then the NEED to get Kyle Bush as their driver.  Daniker need never get within 1000 miles of the car.  

Bush might be the most talented American driver currently under the age of 35.  The kid can flat out drive about anything, any time, anywhere.  We’ve seen him be successful in all tiers of the NASCAR program, he did well on the dirt @ Eldora for Tony Stewart’s race, and I bet you put him in an open wheel car he’d kick ass there as well.  Speaking of Tony Stewart, if was ten years younger and about 50 lbs lighter, I’d say that he should be the primary driver.  Tony is like AJ Foyt and Mario, they could drive anything, anywhere at anytime.  Tony is way to preoccupied with his many ventures and not missing out at the all you can eat buffet to be bothered.  Kyle is very much in their mold in talent and temperament.  It would be just a joy to see Kyle over there ruffling everyones feathers and making the Montoya era seem like the most gentlemanly of drivers.

Let hope that this thing succeeds but I think you will be able to call me Mr. Blue, since that will be the color of my face from holding my breath.

Tuesday
Feb242009

Philip Island Classic

In the late 90's MotoGP was on a downswing and World Superbikes were THE big thing in motorcycle racing.  With the 2009 season just a couple days away from kicking off, how about a look back at one of the classic WSBK races from Philip Island.  Race 2 from 1997

Friday
Feb202009

70's Road Racing In California

My friend Tomm Heath (Cycle Tomm) sent me this, it's some video of he and another good friend of mine, the infamous Tom Pinky back in their heyday.  It's really cool to see some of the old tracks that are no more, Ontario and Riverside, along with current tracks like Sears Point and Laguna Seca.

Tuesday
Feb172009

Imola 2002 Edwards v Bayliss

Two Wheel Tuesday for this week is MASSIVE!  With the opening round of the World Superbike series less than two weeks away, I thought something to get you revved up for the season is called for.

There was a lot of talk about a "Duel In The Desert" between Rossi and Bayliss, but I ask you, could it live up to the "Throwdown At Imola"?  Remember the WSBK title battle between Edwards and Bayliss?  Troy had dominated the first half of the season opening a huge lead in the Championship, but come just past mid season at Laguna Seca, The Texas Tornado caught fire and went on a winning streak and come the last round of the series there were just a couple of points separating the two, the championship would be decided in the final round at Imola.

What we got were maybe two of the greatest races ever as these two went at it with everything they had and left it all on the track!  I've watched this clip of race two maybe a hundred times (no joke) and I still get excited to watch the pass and repass moves.

Sit back and crank it up as we relive real Days Of Glory!

 


Imola 2002 Edwards v Bayliss from Eric Trytko on Vimeo.